Social media can be a complicated beast – we’ve all seen the social media fails and missteps that businesses and individuals have made. But it can’t be denied that social media can also generate a lot of wins for a business, and it is often a necessary addition to any business’s marketing strategy. With a little research, planning and attention, social media can soon become your business’s best friend.

This article suggests just a few simple steps that will help guide you in the right direction for tackling the mysterious creature that is social media. Hopefully, your customers will love to be engaged, your business will flourish and your hard work will be rewarded.

Choose Your Platform Based on Your Audience 

Not all social media platforms are created equal, so take the time to research which are best suited to your business. Look at your marketing strategy, determine who your target market is, and then look at the various social media reports and analytics platforms to figure out which platforms this market is already using. A good option for a detailed Australian Social Media report is this one from Yellow Pages. With a little market knowledge you’ll have an easier run engaging your customers where they’re at.

For example, if you are targeting upper management of professional services with a product or service that is relevant to their business, consider a professional social media platform such as LinkedIn. But if you’re trying to sell these individuals something relevant to their personal life, it may be better to reach them on Facebook or Instagram.

As a very general guide, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube tend to work well for B2B interactions. B2C should focus on platforms that are more interactive for the individual, like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Make a Lasting Impression

In the end, your social media presence should be about building a customer base in order to drive revenue. It’s all for naught if you don’t give your followers the information they need to make a purchase or an enquiry. Make sure that all your contact info – what you do, where you’re based and how to contact you – can be reached within one click from your platform’s home page.

Keep your contact, product and service details up to date. Out of date information can give an unprofessional impression. Make sure your setup is 100% complete and integrated to your other platforms and to your website to ensure a lasting impression that reflects your professional services.

Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

Check out what your competitors are doing, and use this to inspire your own social media methods. Do images of the team get a lot of shares or likes? Do people respond to competitions? Make note of what your competitors do well, and what they could improve on. If their customer base is similar to yours, you can gather market intelligence about what turns your customers on (or off) based on how they interact with your competitors. To simplify this process, you can use Facebook or Hootsuite Dashboards to monitor competitor’s social channels in one place.

That’s a wrap for part one of the Social Media series, stay tuned for part 2 next month! To learn more or refresh your social media skills, have a look through our other related posts here. Remember to choose the right platforms for your business and target market, appear professional with a polished profile and status approach and watch your competitors closely to analyse the positives and negatives to their social media method. Most of all – have fun with it and get to know your customers!